Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Raleigh's City Council passed a monstrous abuse of taxpayer dollars in the form of the arts program at yesterday's City Council meeting (2-17-09).

Some things to note that are in Resolution 2009 that created the program and some things that are not.

1. Art "creates a dynamic and creative urban life." Read more money for downtown Raleigh to be wasted. Urban = Downtown.

2. Art "enhances the reputation of Raleigh and promotes attracting business and increasing tourism;" Do you know what also helps that out? Paying for more police protection and keeping the murder rate below the almost 50% increase it experienced last year.

3. It's not exactly one half one percent. "It is recognized that the permanent program may take a variety of forms, including but not limited to the creation of a fund into which the one-half percent allocations may be allowed to accumulate if some projects may not be ideal for the incorporation of public art." Read - they'll have a huge piggy bank of your tax dollars to spend. They'll milk every project possible for money to put in the piggy bank. Then they'll spend those dollars elsewhere.
  • "The need to have a pool because not all projects would necessarily have an art component but the one-half of 1 percent of the construction cost could go into a pool and that money could be used to put art in areas that do not have a specific project." (Minutes - Raleigh Budget and Economic Development Committee, 1-13-09)

5. They are going to find the highest level of hard construction costs from which to determine the one half of one percent. "If the actual construction bids are higher than the City's pre-bid estimate the percentage shall be accordingly adjusted upward." (Resolution No. 2009)

6. In a time when Raleigh has a hiring freeze, they are discussing hiring yet another bureaucrat for arts. "Commission Chair Starky pointing out they have a current budget and the funding could come from the current budget." (Minutes - Raleigh Budget and Economic Development Committee, 1-13-09) They'll actually be taking money from arts instead of putting money into it.

7. Finally City Manager Russell Allen stated recently that Raleigh has a hiring freeze and is delaying some capital projects. So why in the world in this condition would someone drive up the cost on some capital projects even further?

This isn't over yet.

8. "the final budget for staffing and operation of the program will be established by the City Council as a part of its 2009-2010 annual budget deliberations."

Contact your Raleigh City Council member now and tell them to stop this ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars. You can reach them here.